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kalynraye
02 May 2016, 10:11
So I across this interview with Meghann Foye about her new book "Meterinity". It goes on to say she has never had kids but feels that women, and to a lesser degree, men deserve to take a paid leave to give them "me" time to find themselves mid career. This came about because she was envious of other women who choose to take a more "traditional" role and get knocked up. She feels your more likely to be given some slack if you have to leave to go get your kids then take your girlfriend out for drinks cause she was stood up...

http://nypost.com/2016/04/28/i-want-all-the-perks-of-maternity-leave-without-having-any-kids/

So being in the culinary field I can honestly say at least in the places I worked you aren't given slack for having kids in fact you are more likely to get the crappier shifts be skipped over for promotion and advancement and have your thoughts and opinions ignored. She also goes to talk about going through a burn out and how this would help women(who don't have kids) and men keep from having these. "Bottom line: Women are bad at putting themselves first. But when you have a child you learn to self-advocate to put the needs of your family first. A well crafted "meternity" leave can give you these skills."

Your thoughts and GO!!!

Medusa
02 May 2016, 10:26
I agree with this like I agree with taking 'cig' now known as 'e-cig' breaks at work. My co-worker takes e-cig breaks. I need to start taking a fake vape to work so I too can get these breaks.

It's like that. At least for me.

Now my boss ( a male) has two kids with his ex. And he moves us around the schedule due to child issues. So it's a real thing. Not just for women though. I have no children. But many times when asked to change my schedule and I just don't want to, I just say I have a family thing to do. I have to lie because if I just say nah, I want to watch tv on this particular day, I get guilted (or attempted) guilted to come in.

kalynraye
02 May 2016, 10:42
The cig break thing drives me crazy, even when I did smoke I didn't take breaks at work but I had guys in the kitchen who got to come in early, clock in, and work because they had to have enough time to get their stuff done and take their smoke breaks.. In a kitchen its def different then retail you wind up covering for them while they take that break in a kitchen as long as we aren't in service you basically are left to your own devices to get your stuff done. No breaks during service. PERIOD.

The only major time I have been inconvenienced by someone with kids was not their fault but my bosses because she wouldn't say no. I don't mind letting you have every other weekend off because you have your kids(I came from a divorced family I know how it goes) I don't even mind letting you work most day shifts because you have to get them what I mind is when I never get a weekend off because my boss allows you to have every weekend off because you have something to do with your kids.. but I have also had a boss let a guy do that because he was really into sports and needed to be off so he could watch the game.

Hawkfeathers
02 May 2016, 10:50
It's not real maternity leave or sick leave that causes problems. It's the day to day things. And it's not really about who has kids. It's the people who come in late, gossip and make personal calls, have coffee, and finally kick into gear after lunch, then have to leave early because of an emergency EVERY WEEK. Other people in the same job show up early or on time, get their work done, and are punished for it by being told to help the slackers. They're questioned about why they want to take a vacation day, etc. Telling a boss you need to leave early to let a plumber in is frowned upon, but say the nurse called and Jr. has a fever, and it's fine. THAT is the problem. Everyone needs to help their coworkers out once in a while, but allotted time off is to be respected and not abused or questioned.

Medusa
02 May 2016, 11:06
The issues is that 'me' time is going to be laughed at.
Yeah I'm effing burnt. I need a day off extra this week.
no.


Yeah I have a doctor's appt for my kid.
No problem.

I want to go to this grand opening in another state for the weekend.
nope.

my kid has a birthday in another state this weekend.

ok.

The kid thing comes off more acceptable than saying it's just for your own personal reasons.

It's not illegal. It's not even a legal issue. It's a society and what does it think is ok. Kid's lives are top of the list. I don't have a kid. Eff a kid. I'm at the top of my list. :p

thalassa
02 May 2016, 11:12
I get a certain number of hours of paid leave every pay period to take when I want to take it. I don't have to justify it, unless I'm calling out sick that day.

I'll be honest though, most of my sick time is from sick kids. Lets face it, the building the better immune system time is terrible.

anunitu
02 May 2016, 11:19
Never did the "My kid" thing,but we had My ex's Mother at home with the kids. I would from time to time "Be sick",and all of us that worked in the production mail room did that,mainly because we worked so many hours. 2 hours a day during the week,and 8-10 on Saturday(every Saturday) so we were pulling like 18 hours of OT every week.
We were told that the overtime was mandatory BUT when I got the labor code book,that was not the case,and it gave us some leverage.
It came up when we were told we would not get our yearly bonus(based on company profits) percentage on over time,only on the 40 hour week. Considering our overtime amounted to almost 2 extra weeks each month,it hit the fan about not getting our percentage bonus on that amount. That is when we brought the labor code in about OT NOT being mandatory..so do not give us our bonus,then NO overtime period. The bonus was for working hard to bring up the bottom line,and with no OT,the bottom line would shrink.
We sent out over 100,000 targeted mailings each month.
It is good to know your rights..we got our bonus on our OT.

kalynraye
02 May 2016, 11:24
I think my annoyance with it so much is I believe in ME time. I take ME time, and think everyone should too. I don't think maternity leave is about ME time at all, and I guess I don't like that she compares them. You should already have a healthy routine of doing things for you, in my opinion but we know what opinions are like. Hawk I agree 100% don't abuse what you have.

Bartmanhomer
02 May 2016, 12:10
I don't think a women who's not pregnant shouldn't gat a maternal leave. Why because it's like getting a freebie for no reason at all.

ThePaganMafia
02 May 2016, 13:11
People in general should be given a certain amount of paid leave every year.

My sons mother got 3 weeks of unpaid maternity leave. She almost couldn't take it because it was hard to pay the bills. We were both blackjack dealers at a casino. Paid leave accrued so slow I think I may have gotten 2 or 3 paid days in the two years I worked there. You also got no sick days or family days at all. Everything was on a point system. After 10 points accrued you were fired. No questions asked. A missed day equals 2 points. Double if during what they considered a holiday time frame. So if you got the flu Christmas week and didn't come to work for three days because you couldn't get out of bed your ass was looking for a job. One of our dealers got fired because her son was in the hospital after a horrific accident and she didn't come into work.

Anyways, a lot of off topic but our workers need guaranteed leave. Paid maternity leave isn't required in the United States. Sick days aren't even required. There are a lot of issue when it comes to workers right in this country. I get that people get frustrated when they can't get time off like people who got kids and personal time off is a legitimate issue but it's fucked up that we live in the richest country ever and we can't give a working mother paid maternity leave.

I realize I have not addressed the topic but I think there are some major issues with worker leave that go beyond this.

anunitu
02 May 2016, 13:36
I was lucky,had sick leave,4 weeks vacation before I retired,and good health coverage. I thought that everyone had those bennys,but It was California,and the company was good with the benefits. Also California had a VERY strong labor code to protect the workers. Calif. also has it very own OSHA above the federal one.
One Governor tried to kill the labor board and labor code as he was running for a second term. That was Wilson...that stance got him bounced as Governor,and also killed his trying to run for POTUS.

Rae'ya
02 May 2016, 18:01
If this woman thinks that women with kids are RELAXING during their maternity leave... I know enough new mothers to know that's just not true.

In Australia we get paid me-ternity leave... it's called '4 weeks annual leave' and '2 weeks sick/carers leave'. And if you stay at a job for ten years you then get '13 weeks long service leave'. Mothers get to spend their own sick leave looking after children with the sniffles who aren't allowed to go to daycare that day... then when they run out of sick days they get to take unpaid sick leave in order to look after the kid.

I do get frustrated when people with kids are given shift preferences, but I hate when non-parents start whining about how parents get it so much easier at work. My coworker worked at a $15 loss every week because of childcare costs. My sister can't take sick days for herself because she's used them all on the kids and her single mother budget is so tight that an unpaid day of puts her tooshort that week.

I think people like that woman need to check their privelege and look at what the real issue here is.

Hawkfeathers
02 May 2016, 18:23
^^^ Every place I worked started off with 1 week a year vacation, and 3 or 4 sick days. After 3 years you got 2 weeks/5 days. One place had 10 sick days but you didn't dare use them. So, this is the problem in the USA - imagine how fast those days got used up? Getting cable tv put in? Moving? Plumber, etc.? Most Dr.'s who don't have night hours? Car breakdown? There went your vacation time. People are beyond burnt out.

Rae'ya
02 May 2016, 18:46
^^^ Every place I worked started off with 1 week a year vacation, and 3 or 4 sick days. After 3 years you got 2 weeks/5 days. One place had 10 sick days but you didn't dare use them. So, this is the problem in the USA - imagine how fast those days got used up? Getting cable tv put in? Moving? Plumber, etc.? Most Dr.'s who don't have night hours? Car breakdown? There went your vacation time. People are beyond burnt out.

Which is what I think the real issue is. Workers' (non)rights in the US boggles my brain. So why is this woman attcking parents who need to be at home with their newborn baby? Does she expect a new mother to pop one out and go back to work the next day.

Yes, workers need me-time, but attcking new parents' right to their baby-time is not the way to go about it.

(And "self-advocacy for the good of your family"? Since when did sacrificing your paycheck to look after a screaming sick child become self-advocacy? Does she think mothers LIKE taking their kids to the doctor when the appointment is now costing more than she earned that day?)

Azvanna
03 May 2016, 04:14
There is no way taking 'Me-ternity leave' could ever achieve what having a child does. This lady doesn't even know what she's talking about. Becoming a parent (especially a mother) tested me to my physical, emotional and spiritual limits. My whole identity was first stripped away as I no longer had 'Me-time' to do the things I once enjoyed and therein lies the idiocy of the comparison. I found my grip on reality loosen significantly as I questioned everything I once thought I was. It was as though I teetered right on the edge of sanity from mental and physical exhaustion. I was tested to my absolute limit and, fortunately , I adapted. There is no way the pressures of new parenthood could ever be replicated in any self-directed soul-searching retreat or whatever meaningful thing she's advocating you do with 'meternity leave' mainly because when such a change is self-directed, you can rarely push yourself so far past limitations in such a short space of time.

She is right about a couple of things:
But when you have a child, you learn how to self-advocate to put the needs of your family first. This is absolutely true, but it's because you have a little dependent person who doesn't have the ability or insight to speak for itself, not because of some realisation you've had about your own ambitions or self-worth.


Work-life balance is tough for everyone, and it happens most when parents and nonparents support and donít judge each other.
My boss is/was an absolute biatch about this one. When I first returned to work, she was extremely unwelcoming and attempted to undermine the support that I knew I had from my all-female, all mothers work group when I had to ring in to take days off. It utterly destroyed all trust and any kind of respect I could ever build for her. From her point of view, she wanted a team she could rely on to give highly consistent results to make herself look good. From my point of view, giving the best I could to my little dependent human who was basically in programming mode was WAY more important. I called her out on it and she thanked me and apologised, but as far as I'm concerned, I know her now. I can't respect the point of view that work productivity over-rides family relationships. At the end of my days, hopefully it's my family that's going to be there with me, not likely my work mates thanking me for coming in even though my son needed me at home one time!

So, here's the focal point and the end result that author wants to achieve:
...my "meternity" taught me to live on my own terms and advocate what works for me.

Self-awareness and self-advocacy go hand in hand. I think what she is really promoting is a chance to develop that self-awareness. I agree with many of the others here who have pointed out that most people work ridiculous hours. I really feel that many people are under the illusion of freedom. I loved this image: 4813 Sometimes I feel like a slave to a huge money machine that I can never see or get a share in. It takes a total change in lifestyle and an act of bravery to quit feeling like that. I feel like I've got one foot partly in the water, but have a ways to go yet!


And as I watched my friends take their real maternity leaves, I saw that spending three months detached from their desks made them much more sure of themselves. One friend made the decision to leave her corporate career to create her own business; another decided to switch industries. From the outside, it seemed like those few weeks of them shifting their focus to something other than their jobs gave them a whole new lens through which to see their lives. What the author is witnessing here is part of the loss and renewal of identity I was talking about earlier and there's a few parts to it. One factor is that your understanding of your limitations change as well as your understanding of the value of time. One of my previous bosses mused that she felt so busy before she had kids but remembered taking naps. :D The other factor that definitely, a break away from something that seems larger than life can break its power. For example, my year away from attending church meetings five times a week gave me the break I needed to honestly consider all I was taught and measure it against my own values and life experience. When you go into something and it's all you think about, it's all you think about! A hiatus can certainly help to put things into perspective.

So, I do think she's onto something, but comparing it to maternity leave is just plain silly. The same thing she's talking about could be achieved through a gap year or a backpacking holiday or whatever. I agree with her sentiments, I think she's just worded it all very poorly. Maybe she's simply trying to advertise her new novel.

anunitu
03 May 2016, 07:06
There were days while I was riding the BART(Bay area rapid transit) where I flashed on a scene from "metropolis" the old silent movie.


This scene.

https://youtu.be/wJPpW1bBTRI

Tylluan Penry
03 May 2016, 08:34
I have always felt that most people work far too long. Everyone would probably be much more productive with more breaks and more holidays. It would even out in the end.

faye_cat
03 May 2016, 08:50
At first I thought I was going to hate the author, but I can see where she's coming from. I just don't like some of the correlations she drew.


Ultimately, what I learned from my own “meternity” leave is that any pressure I felt to stay late at the office wasn’t coming from the parents on staff. It was coming from myself. Coming back to a new position, I realized I didn’t need an “excuse” to leave on time. And that’s what I would love the take-away for my book to be: Work-life balance is tough for everyone, and it happens most when parents and nonparents support and don’t judge each other.

This is it exactly. Reading the article, it sounds like another take on the "Take a year between college and high school to find yourself" discussion.

As others have said, most jobs in the US (and possibly other countries but I can only reference the US) do not provide very much support for workers, regardless of their home life. I think that if they did, more people would be less resentful of parents. However, as Azvanna noted, even with maternity leave you don't get any "me time"--you in fact get less time to soul search than ever. Most parents either sink or swim when it comes to parenting and juggling a job, and there's no time to grapple with your self doubt--parents I know who have to balance have more self doubt than most single/non parents who have a job and home life!


One friend made the decision to leave her corporate career to create her own business; another decided to switch industries. The author seems to say that these are moves made by being more comfortable in their lives or more confident in their abilities, but doesn't provide evidence to back it up. It could also be a matter of necessity: Their current jobs are causing them stress and they are unable to keep up so they find another way to balance it.

The author isn't even taking into consideration the physical aspect. Most maternity leave is only 12 weeks (unpaid), but it can take the body a year (give or take) to fully bounce back after an average pregnancy and labor. My current employer lumps the maternity leave in with short term disability, which is how I got (reduced) paid checks during my leave.

Also, you know why women are usually the ones who leave work "early" to pick up the kid? Because they get paid less than their partner (usually). I'm not trying to start a debate about the wage gap, but simply the jobs they work. Most women I know end up, because of the fact that they are physically the ones who have the baby, through a combination of their own desires, what works with the partner, societal expectations, and their own abilities end up with a more flexible, lesser paying job. I think Kalyn above also mentioned in the restaurant industry that women (or is it parents in general?) end up getting less good paying jobs after having children, regardless of their abilities. It could be a whole other debate, but if they got paid better wages, they wouldn't have to leave to pick up the kids because they could afford to pay more childcare costs.

tl;dr: I can't fault what the author says about "meternity" because I feel like employers treat their employees like crap and need to change that, but I do disagree with how she romanticizes mothers and their maternity leave.

Hawkfeathers
03 May 2016, 09:18
If I remember correctly, people who adopted had to fight to get equal leave. So it used to be only about physical recovery, not bonding with the baby.

faye_cat
03 May 2016, 09:29
If I remember correctly, people who adopted had to fight to get equal leave. So it used to be only about physical recovery, not bonding with the baby.

True, I didn't even consider that.

Under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, first passed in 1993, unpaid leave is available for adoptive families. FMLA allows individuals, working for qualified employers, to take up to 12 weeks of leave from work. Although this time is unpaid, you will receive benefits and will not jeopardize your employment.Source (http://www.americanadoptions.com/adopt/federal_family_and_medical_leave_act)

Maternity and paternity leave (which is sadly even harder to obtain) is vital to the well being of the parents and the child. Meternity is something that should be discussed, I definitely believe the economy pushes workers too hard, but it is not the same as maternity/paternity leave and needs to be discussed separately.

thalassa
03 May 2016, 16:11
Maternity leave is not "me" time. It's "recovering from a 9 month watermelon-sized parasite-tumor that either needed to be cut from your stomach or pushed out a hole that is ordinarily the diameter of a quarter, only to become a dairy cow with perpetual emotional overload" time.

Those women didn't go off to do better things because of confidence or whatever, but because childcare is so freaking expensive, you might as well keep saying at home and enjoy your kids and go back to work once they are in school (and sure, dads could do this, but society beats them up for it).

Hawkfeathers
03 May 2016, 16:53
I'm glad I grew up in an era where most mothers were home. The economy doesn't allow that now. I don't remember any of my elem. school classmates having working mothers, daycare, etc. Nobody had divorced parents, either. Imagine that!

ThePaganMafia
03 May 2016, 18:38
Working women: ruining marriages everywhere, apparently.

Hawkfeathers
03 May 2016, 19:38
Nah, it's the men who don't earn a million bucks doing that. LOL

thalassa
04 May 2016, 01:37
I'd also like to add, on the subject of me-ternity time, that people already have that, in the sorts of jobs that this woman likely frequents---its called VACATION TIME. Also, there's a leave of absence, sabbatical, etc...if you financially prepare for it, you can take as much time off as you want. Most American places of business (including the federal government, but excluding military women) require women to take vacation and sick time or be unpaid for their maternity leave. The exception (gov't wise) is the military, which considers post-pregnancy to be convalescent leave--the same as you would get for surgical procedures, etc.

Also, there's "retirement"--or what the folks I work with nearing that age call "my house is paid off, my car is paid off, my kids are out of the house, I can sell and use the equity to downsize and I have enough retirement income to find a job I like".


ETA: I know more women that stayed home with the kids and got left high and dry with no income and few job opportunities than stayed together as SAHMs. I think it has less to do with the working (or not) and more to do with the bias against divorce and the financial dependence that women in previous generations had in a vasly more unfair-to-women labor market--my grandparents are miserable together, but have been that way for 60 years, so they might as well keep it up.

Medusa
04 May 2016, 09:53
Maternity leave is not "me" time. It's "recovering from a 9 month watermelon-sized parasite-tumor that either needed to be cut from your stomach or pushed out a hole that is ordinarily the diameter of a quarter, only to become a dairy cow with perpetual emotional overload" time.

Those women didn't go off to do better things because of confidence or whatever, but because childcare is so freaking expensive, you might as well keep saying at home and enjoy your kids and go back to work once they are in school (and sure, dads could do this, but society beats them up for it).

lol. You did the deed, not me!:p

thalassa
04 May 2016, 09:59
lol. You did the deed, not me!:p

Yeah, but you aren't making the claim that you need special time off to recuperate just from adulting!

DanieMarie
04 May 2016, 11:53
Gods no. This shouldn't be a thing.
Where I live, we have "me" time (well I don't, because I'm freelance, but anyone who is employed by someone does). It's called paid holiday, and we're entitled to 24 work days per year per 40-hour weekly contract (scaled down for part-time jobs). I'm all for that, and for sensible hours that let you go and have a life outside of work, but a me-ternity leave is taking it too far. Between our holidays, public holidays, and all that jazz, we already get a fair bit of time off work. Plus we get guaranteed paid sick days (including leave for burnout or mental health...it's so easy to get a note for that. My friend just took two weeks off for burnout, and I did it when I was employed). I think that might be the issue with getting absolutely nothing guaranteed. You have to fight so hard to get something that people take it too far. No one here needs to do that. You're stressed at work and need some "me" time? Go to your doctor and say you're tired all the time. Bam. Sick note, and your employer isn't allowed to question it.

- - - Updated - - -


Which is what I think the real issue is. Workers' (non)rights in the US boggles my brain. So why is this woman attcking parents who need to be at home with their newborn baby? Does she expect a new mother to pop one out and go back to work the next day.

Yes, workers need me-time, but attcking new parents' right to their baby-time is not the way to go about it.

(And "self-advocacy for the good of your family"? Since when did sacrificing your paycheck to look after a screaming sick child become self-advocacy? Does she think mothers LIKE taking their kids to the doctor when the appointment is now costing more than she earned that day?)

EXACTLY. Maternity isn't the problem. The lack of worker's rights in the US is the problem.

- - - Updated - - -


I have always felt that most people work far too long. Everyone would probably be much more productive with more breaks and more holidays. It would even out in the end.

It does. Germany has very generous work hours and holidays, and we are the most productive country in the world, in terms of productivity per worker. However, productivity has been dropping due to stress and burnout issues, which really corresponds with a drop in the "German" way of working and increasing overtime and such. I think too many managers here read too many American management books and forget that this country was already on the right track.

That being said, we still get the sick leave for burnout, and I think everyone is better for it.

Kiesha'ra
04 May 2016, 11:59
It's called entitlement and plain laziness. Vacation time is "me" time, if you don't like it then start your own business, become freelance or the like.

DanieMarie
04 May 2016, 12:05
Me time as a freelancer?

HAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA

anunitu
04 May 2016, 12:05
Vacation for sure...when I hit 4 weeks,I really did not have the time to take 4 weeks right in a row..the job actually restricted me to at most 1 week at a time because of a thing that happened when I was on vacation. I had to run the printer to do pay checks..there was a second guy also doing it,BUT when I was on 2 weeks vacation he jammed the printer doing pay checks..got called in while I was on Vacation to fix things(I am kinda a figure stuff out guy)..went in fixed it,went back on vacation,came back in and then could never be on vacation during payroll week(did them twice a month)..so only one week at a time vacation.(BTW,it was not that hard to fix the problem,but the others were not very good at innovating)

DanieMarie
04 May 2016, 12:18
They'd get good at figuring it out if taking 4 weeks off in the summer was the norm like it is here. Just sayin'.

I have a friend who gets 6 weeks of vacation a year. He doesn't take it all at once, because that's a good way to take some extra time off at Christmas plus the odd long weekend here and there. That's the dream, though it's also not all that uncommon here for people with good jobs.

Medusa
04 May 2016, 14:04
Yeah, but you aren't making the claim that you need special time off to recuperate just from adulting!

Nah. Just regular time off.

So our new mommy (she's like 24 and lives with her boyfriend and they seem like they are 19 they are soo young) just got her driver's licences. I usually have Kevin give me a lift home at night because he passes my house on the way home. Well she pretty much begged me to let her give me a ride home.

She told me it's the only chance she has to be away from her bf and baby (who just turned 5 months).

Mommies need special drive in the car alone time. It should be mandatory. I feel for her.